Category Events
Event Date 06-08-2015
Place Holy Family Hospital, Rawalpindi

Ignite (Formerly National ICT R&D Fund) organized a workshop on “Opportunities for Using ICT to Provide Better Health Care in Pakistan” on Thursday August 6, 2015 in collaboration with Holy Family Hospital, Rawalpindi at Surgical Unit II of the hospital.

The workshop aimed to provide opportunity to local medical experts, researchers, practitioners, ICT experts and to relevant stakeholders to discuss various e-health technologies that can be applied to offer better healthcare facilities in the country while also providing an insight to the issues associated with this area.

The key objectives of the workshop were to create and foster meaningful research collaborations among healthcare providers and researchers, ICT experts, pharmacists and other stakeholders and to disseminate updated information on successful ICT-based e-Health systems and intervention models utilized globally among the relevant stakeholders besides facilitating in defining meaningful industry-academia partnership to develop innovative ICT based healthcare solutions and services.

Mr. M Ali Iqbal, Solicitation & Engagement Manager, Ignite (Formerly National ICT R&D Fund) welcomed the participant on behalf of the Fund besides dilating upon the purpose and expected outcome of the event.

This was followed by a presentation by Dr. Idrees Anwar on Minimal Invasive Surgery using ICT in which he emphasized on imparting training to young surgeons on simulators for the desired expertise rather than practicing on live cases. He also said that the future is of Robotics De Vinci where robotic surgery is performed that reduces chance of communicating infections virtually to none as the robots can be sterilized to an extreme degree. The average cost is 40-50 million rupees and one such facility exists in Karachi.

Later on Mr. Shees Ashraf GM Projects, Ignite (Formerly National ICT R&D Fund) enlightened the audience with various funding opportunities for industry-academia collaborations in use of ICT in health and other sectors besides highlighting other HRD initiatives of the Fund.

Dr. Slaman Shafi, Co-In charge, ICU, PIMS presented the initiative taken at his hospital on Health Information Management System o (in/out patient data), LMI (Lab data for patients’ investigations) and RMIS (Radiology Image Data) to maintain patient confidentiality and complete backup of the medical history of each patient.

Dr. Sheraz Tareen from Armed Forces Institute of Ophthalmology (AFIO) presented digital Hess Charting system that is used for gauging the misalignment of eyes. The entire digital system is developed indigenously and named as Al Basr Hess Chart.

Dr. Tahir Zaidi from CASE Islamabad emphasized in his presentation that there is a dire need to change the mindset of hospital administration which is obsessed with the brand name while inducting the electro-medical equipment in their hospitals. He presented three indigenously produced systems that are not only internationally competitive with regards to accuracy but are also cost effective. Ignite (Formerly National ICT R&D Fund) provided the funding for conducting R&D activities and production of these systems:-

a. Arrhythmia and Sudden Death Syndrome Detection Hybrid Network Based Telemedicine System.

b. Development of a Net Enabled Retinal Image Analysis & Screening System for Grading & Diagnosis of Diabetic Retinopathy and its                 Integration in i-telemedicine System.

c. Intra-cardiac Signal Acquisition, Analysis, and Display (ISAAD) System for Electro-Physiology.

Mr. Abdullah Saqib from Telenor Pakistan presented a mobile app on health that is an initiative to converge M-Health into e-Health. The application covered Nutrition, Maternity, Pharmaceutical and telemedicine.

In the end Mr. Muhammad Ali Iqbal, delivered his presentation on “Innovative, Integrated and Affordable eHealth Solutions for Better Healthcare in the country”, a proposed project of the Fund. He discussed the details of the project and sought the participants’ views and suggestions on it. The participants appreciated the initiative and were of the view that such projects are required to be executed on emergent basis to offer technology based healthcare to the citizens of the country in an effective and timely manner.

Later on, in the brain storming session various suggestions were put forward by the participants. Dr. Idrees Anwar suggested that a national working group may be formed with the mandate to identify needs of the healthcare sector. He also suggested that modular approach would be followed in designing and developing healthcare solutions. He further informed that data is available with relevant authorities which can be utilized for identifying requirements of the healthcare industry.

Dr. Faisal Murad, informed the participants that Holy Family Hospital has developed HMIS over the last 4 years and suggested to identify the modules which have already been developed by various entities and integrate these modules into a bigger solutions. He also informed that telemedicine solutions have been developed by TeleSehat/Comcept Pvt. Ltd. are available in the market. He suggested that Ignite (Formerly National ICT R&D Fund) may fund the mass production of locally developed medical equipment and distribute freely to hospitals. He further emphasized the need of adding business component to R&D of various healthcare solutions in order to make it more successful.

Dr. Tahir Zaidi advised to take tier-wise/modular approach in developing healthcare solutions. He also supports the idea of establishment of Center of Excellence but advised to make sure that proper functions and funding must be made available.

Dr. Shafaat A. Bazaz appreciated the efforts of the Fund in providing funding for development of such solutions and further suggested that it plays a role of integrator/facilitator between stakeholders. He also suggested that big commercial players must come forward and help in commercialization of the locally developed solutions. He advised to include a commercial partner in every fund seeking proposal. He informed the participants that studies have already been done for healthcare sector. In order to identify the exact requirements, hospitals must be reached for developing a successful solution.

Mr. Ahmed Fawad from NUST emphasized the need for a study to identify the standards being followed or need to be followed in healthcare industry. This will play an important role in integration of various solutions for the industry. He also advised to develop the solutions having multi-platform support/interfaces i.e. web based, mobile, tablets etc.

In his concluding remarks Dr. Idrees Anwar commended Ignite (Formerly National ICT R&D Fund) for bringing all the key stakeholders together on one platform. He also appreciated the guest speakers and other participants for attending and sharing their valuable inputs.